This is the final installment of the transformation journey. It’s about the brilliance we find when we embrace ourselves fully. If you’ve missed the first two posts, you can find the here:
It’s 2016, I’m 47. I’m twenty years removed from my angel’s passing. My son’s ten and my daughter’s five. But there’s a stirring in my gut that won’t leave me alone. I feel a shift I can’t explain. Nothing feels right but I can’t pin it down.
I’m prepping to go to my son’s soccer game and right before rushing out the door I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. “Who is that? It can’t be me, I don’t dress or look like THAT!”
I quickly change my clothes to something more “me” appropriate and keep it moving.
We’re sitting in the surgeon’s office, it’s December 13, 2017, and my husband and I are waiting to hear the results from the two biopsies I had the week before.
The first and only words I hear are “You have Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, breast cancer.” As I sit there absorbing this information, my overwhelming thoughts are:
- What about my kids?
- What am I doing with my life?
So, for the first 8 months of 2018, beginning on January 2nd, I go through active treatments to fight cancer. In that time I realize there are things I want to be, do and have yet nothing’s leading me to them.
Now’s the time.
The Universe responds by laying me off from my job. It’s October 2018 and I’m at a crossroads. Recovering from cancer treatments, looking for a job and feeling completely transformed in a way I’m unable to explain to myself, let alone anyone else.
At the same time, my daughter’s in the second grade and bored, I’m frustrated because she’s full of brilliance and loves learning, but she feels she’s not learning anything. So, I say “if Mommy can find a way to stay home, we’ll do home school.”
Around that time, I decide to drive for Uber until I can “figure things out”. I enjoy driving so much I decide to stop my job search, drive full time and home school my daughter and build my dream career of coaching, speaking and making a real difference in other’s lives.
No life is linear.
We don’t always know what events in our lives mean until we look back at how they’ve unfolded. Cancer re-ignited the brilliance of my soul in a way that’s hard to explain.
When I lost my first baby that brilliance was dulled to almost imperceptible. Cancer allowed me to see that I’ve been living in default for over twenty years. Instead of being the leader I was in high school, I shrunk myself to fit in and not make waves. Instead of taking huge chances and making big bets, I stayed at the slot machines and hoped. There’s no honor in being dull.
Now I’m aware. There’s no turning back because I get to choose how my story ends. Mine isn’t a story of defeat, it’s a story of triumph. It’s a story of realization and growth. It’s a story of knowing myself, honoring myself and allowing myself to continue becoming.
I’m no longer worried about being worthy, I know I am. I no longer care to carry shame, I care more that my gifts be shared. That my brilliance serve as a beacon for others, lighting their path and their motivation.
So, maybe by listening to my soul’s cry to do more for others, my cancer can be what helps others find their own brilliance.
I’m living forward, pushing through whatever comes so the next time I look back, I’m overwhelmed and humbled by what I see.
From this moment on I’m no longer in default. I’m intentional.